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Which big brands do consumers trust with their data—and which are creepy?

by | Mar 12, 2019 | Public Relations

While consumers are concerned about the privacy and security of their data, yet want a more personalized experience from brands, a new survey of more than 1,000 consumers from multichannel behavioral marketing platform SmarterHQset out to determine which companies and industries are handling their users’ data responsibly—and which marketing tactics consumers feel are personalized vs. creepy.

According to the firm’s report, Privacy & Personalization: Consumers share how to win them over without crossing the line, Amazon has earned the most trust from today’s consumers by a landslide—48 percent of consumers trust Amazon to use their data responsibly, beating out Apple, Google, and other big brand stores, banks, airlines and hotels. This sentiment is strongest among Millennials and Generation Z, who trust Amazon 2.1x more than their banks.

Which big brands do consumers trust with their data—and which are creepy?

Social media companies rank last on the list

Social networks scored only 6 percent, with one major contributor to this low score being that half of survey respondents said they know someone who has had their social media account hacked.

“Digital marketers today face the challenge of confronting consumers who are increasingly skeptical of whether they can trust brands with their data and wonder if their personal information will be used wisely,” said Michael Osborne, president & CEO of SmarterHQ, in a news release.

Which big brands do consumers trust with their data—and which are creepy?

“The encouraging news is that 90 percent of consumers are willing to provide behavioral data for a better shopping experience as they demand a personalized touch from the brands they interact with,” Osbourne added. “Therefore, the onus is on marketers to leverage the right technology to help them recognize, understand and engage with their audiences across all channels while keeping their customer data safe. This will give brands the best chance at gaining a loyal customer base.”

Which big brands do consumers trust with their data—and which are creepy?

“There’s a difference between personalized and creepy marketing tactics—and marketers need to make sure their campaigns fall into the right category,” Osbourne said.

Which big brands do consumers trust with their data—and which are creepy?

Among some of the other striking consumer findings in the report:

They’re skeptical

Eighty-six percent are concerned about their data privacy, and 79 percent of consumers believe companies know too much about them.

They favor email over other channels

Fifty-onepercent of consumers say email is the best way for a brand to communicate, with social media second in line (25 percent).

They think push notifications can be creepy

Seventy-fourpercent of consumers say push is the most invasive channel because they view their phone as an everyday tool that’s part of their personal space.

They’ll banish brands who provide poor personalization

Sixty-threepercent say they would stop purchasing products and services from companies that take “creepy” marketing too far.

They value and trust brands the more often they shop and the younger they are

Those who shop more often find personalization marketing tactics 25 percent more helpful, and Millennials and Gen Z trust companies with their data 47 percent more than Baby Boomers and Gen X. Interestingly, owners of smart home devices (i.e. Amazon Alexa, Google Home) are 16 percent less protective of their data privacy and 12 percent more trusting of companies collecting and using their data.

Download the full report here.

Which big brands do consumers trust with their data—and which are creepy?

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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